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2004 Forester XT
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Discussion Starter #1
Alright,

Not sure where to post this because I am not sure what the issue is!

There is about 2 feet of snow on the ground outside so far.

I had to drive home from a work meeting last night in Galant VR-4 which is Turbo and AWD. Unfortunately it is equipped with Kumho Ecsta Supra 712 which are Performance Summer Tires.

I have lots of driving experience, but most of it is from living in South Florida.

Well it took me 5 hrs to drive the 62 miles back from DC to Central Virginia last night.

I had several close calls along the way even though I wasn't driving over 15 miles mph.

It didn't seem to matter how slowly I drove or how much room I left for braking. I ended up going through a red light down a hill last night even though the vehicle is equipped with ABS/AWD and I was driving like a snail.

When I hit my last mile home, I took a tiny turn and ended up on the side of the road. No matter how I tried I could not break free (Kind of like a Pink Floyd Song). The rear tires were spinning away. The police came by and pulled me out with a chain.

Since I just got the GVR-4, I didn't even have enough time before the storm to determine what type of tires I was running before this storm.

So when I finally got the GVR4 in this morning, I tried to move the Forester to see how it fared. The Subaru has Pirelli P-Zero Nero's on it which are basically summer tires too, but they have an M&S on the side. The Forester fared a tiny bit better, but still got stuck.

The interesting part about this story is that the owner provided me with a set of 4 Blizzaks for the GVR4 on some stock rims with paint that is peeling horribly.

I planned on painting them up and popping them on, but the storm hit.

So this is what I really want to know about.

Is it ground clearance or traction that is stopping these vehicles from moving?

I don't want to wreck my vehicles by driving them in 2 feet of snow and crushing something underneath.

Any thoughts?

Should my GVR4 be able to get out on the road in an emergency, or will I crush the oil pan or something underneath?

Thanks!
 

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Mother nature is very unforgiving. :) Even with the best tires your brakes can only do so much with so much weight and momentum from the car.

But I would say it's the tires. I have a 1998 Dodge Neon and a 1999 Chevrolet Suburban. The Dodge has all season and the Chevrolet has snow tires. Of course the Chevrolet has 4WD (when I select it before I go driving) and the Dodge only has FWD. :) I can tell the difference when the Chevrolet has FWD on what tires they are. Even if the Suburban is a lot larger and heavier, on FWD, I was able to stop much quicker if not at the same rate as my Dodge at the same stop sign in my neighborhood, on the same day, at the same speed (20 MPH). But that's just from my personal experience.

The only reason why ground clearance would help is when you're in those ditches or the snow is seriously packed and your wheels can barely touch the road. From what I read I don't think that's your problem. It's your tires that are the problem, and the fact that maybe after your tires, it's up to how much traction you get on ice.
 

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2007 Forester 2.5x SE
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Are you Joking?

If you are literally trying to drive through 2 ft of snow, I don't think EITHER tire will get you very far. Do they not clear the roads where you are? Maybe try shoveling your driveway first.

Most certainly the Snow tires (with proper tread) would be 100x better helping you stop where you have been sliding through the Red Lights or sliding OFF the road, than summer tires. Chains would be good too, but if there is 2 ft of uncleared snow on the roads, it would be better to leave the Car at home and walk (or call in a Dog Sled) in an emergency.
 

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Are you Joking?

If you are literally trying to drive through 2 ft of snow, I don't think EITHER tire will get you very far. Do they not clear the roads where you are? Maybe try shoveling your driveway first.

Most certainly the Snow tires (with proper tread) would be 100x better helping you stop where you have been sliding through the Red Lights or sliding OFF the road, than summer tires. Chains would be good too, but if there is 2 ft of uncleared snow on the roads, it would be better to leave the Car at home and walk (or call in a Dog Sled) in an emergency.
That's a LOT of dogs. :crazy:
 

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2007 Forester Sports XT 4EAT
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I agree, tires make a world of difference! Last winter we had the worst snow storm in the last 40 years! :icon_eek: With studded Nokian Hakkapeliitta 4 tires on my '03, driving on snow & ice was like driving on dry pavement. I'd take off from a traffic light, to look back to see the other vehicles still trying to get traction! I noticed little, if any loss of traction & driving was great fun! :biggrin:

Bobby...

My MODding Journal
 

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2004 Forester XT
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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the posts. They are clearing the roads out now.

This is the problem now......I have to move my cars 40 feet out of the snow and get into the clear roadways.

There is 2 feet of snow for that 40 feet of my driveway. Is clearance stopping me from moving or is it the lack of snow tires.

I don't want to put the snow tires on for nothing.

Walking is not an option unfortunately. Everything is way too far.

Whoops I didn't see one of the posts...I am reading through again. Maybe it has the answer!
 

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The -only- thing awd does is provide more power to the ground in bad conditions. It has no effect at all (aside from when engine braking) on the braking distance. Also, off power it basically has no effect on cornering, it is ALL in the tires.

Also, ABS has nothing to do with stopping distances, its only purpose is to allow you to have enough traction when braking so that you can still turn (if you use up all the traction braking, ie you lock the wheels, then you have no traction to turn, the abs pulses the brake so you basically can turn and brake at the same time) ABS will often increase the stopping distance, but helps to control slides etc.

Also, the ability to drive in deep snow really depends on the type of snow. Thick wet snow will stop you at probably less than 10". Lighter "dry" snow, you can probably get through over a foot of. I doubt it will hurt anything under the car, but you'll end up high centered unable to use the weight of the car to give the tires more traction, you'll just be spinning them in place.
 

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2007 Forester 2.5x SE
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The -only- thing awd does is provide more power to the ground in bad conditions. It has no effect at all (aside from when engine braking) on the braking distance. Also, off power it basically has no effect on cornering, it is ALL in the tires.

Also, ABS has nothing to do with stopping distances, its only purpose is to allow you to have enough traction when braking so that you can still turn (if you use up all the traction braking, ie you lock the wheels, then you have no traction to turn, the abs pulses the brake so you basically can turn and brake at the same time) ABS will often increase the stopping distance, but helps to control slides etc.

Also, the ability to drive in deep snow really depends on the type of snow. Thick wet snow will stop you at probably less than 10". Lighter "dry" snow, you can probably get through over a foot of. I doubt it will hurt anything under the car, but you'll end up high centered unable to use the weight of the car to give the tires more traction, you'll just be spinning them in place.
I agree.

Thanks for the posts. They are clearing the roads out now.

This is the problem now......I have to move my cars 40 feet out of the snow and get into the clear roadways.

There is 2 feet of snow for that 40 feet of my driveway. Is clearance stopping me from moving or is it the lack of snow tires.
I still don't think that you can PUSH your way through 2 ft of snow for 40 ft, regardless of clearance or tires. Neither of your vehicles is a Snow Plow. You can give it try if you'd like, but I still say you need to shovel the drive.
 

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2008 2008 2.5i-2018 XT
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I still don't think that you can PUSH your way through 2 ft of snow for 40 ft, regardless of clearance or tires. Neither of your vehicles is a Snow Plow. You can give it try if you'd like, but I still say you need to shovel the drive.
+1. With great tires maybe 16" for short distances. Once you are north of a foot you are not gonna drive everywhere even with very good tires.
 

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2004 Forester XT
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Not sure with the heavy snow you guys get back east, but I have done 18"+ in both the Forester and the WRX and neither one is at stock height. I've even done 11" last month on my summers which are General Exclaim UHP's (also M+S rated) in the Forester. Our snow out here is usually a lot lighter but 40ft to get to the road shouldn't be a problem with snow tires on.
 

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Not sure with the heavy snow you guys get back east, but I have done 18"+ in both the Forester and the WRX and neither one is at stock height. I've even done 11" last month on my summers which are General Exclaim UHP's (also M+S rated) in the Forester. Our snow out here is usually a lot lighter but 40ft to get to the road shouldn't be a problem with snow tires on.
Thornton, Colorado?
 

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Yeah, I guess I would have to agree. The snow in Colorado isn't so heavy that ground clearance becomes an issue. It's usually light and fluffy (except for a while back when we had that snow/slush storm that came so fast).
 

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Like in March of 03 when I had 51" in my driveway. 13 hour drive home from Keystone without any problems other than the super slow speeds only to get stuck pulling in my driveway. Couldn't even see my roommates SVX under all the snow.
 

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LOL! I think I remember that winter storm. I was in middle school in 2003. The day before the storm we were just starting to take our CSAP. :) It was funny because we had come back the Thursday and Friday and finish it before winter break or else we'd be waiting too long (past the new year and then coming back from winter break to finish the CSAP).
 

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If you are literally trying to drive through 2 ft of snow, I don't think EITHER tire will get you very far. Do they not clear the roads where you are? Maybe try shoveling your driveway first.

Most certainly the Snow tires (with proper tread) would be 100x better helping you stop where you have been sliding through the Red Lights or sliding OFF the road, than summer tires. Chains would be good too, but if there is 2 ft of uncleared snow on the roads, it would be better to leave the Car at home and walk (or call in a Dog Sled) in an emergency.
Like most others here, I agree - at 2-ft. of snow, true-measure, your listed vehicles are ground-clearance compromised, and although you should be able to literally "self plow" for that 40 ft. of driveway (I've done so, for much more), you'll need traction at the tires to do it, and neither the 712s nor the Neros will suffice.

The 712s, as you know, are summer tires. That's literally like wearing tux shoes on a skating rink. :biggrin: It's fun, but not if you're actually trying to go somewhere or do something, as you found out (thankfully, it seems that only your ego was hurt). :icon_razz:

The Neros, although designated M+S, are typically considered by most to be among the less "winter-precip. capable" M+S-designated HP all-seasons. While tread design is about 2/3 of the equation in terms of snow traction, and the M+S designation is a consideration specifically made on tread-design, it's an old and out-dated standard, and really carries very little relevance, any more.

So, yep, you were caught a little unprepared. :icon_frown:

Like funkymonkey said, there's also the consideration of type of snow - particularly for clearance-limited and/or traction-compromised vehicles.

But even more importantly in his post is the considerations for braking and turning - which, even with tires suited to conditions (studded or un-studded winter tires), will still be exercises to be undertaken with due caution. Again, you were certainly caught-out, 2004XT Auto, and your tire choice only exaggerated the physics of the issue, but keep in mind that even with winter tires on, just because you can get going as if there's nothing on the ground doesn't mean that you'll necessarily stop or turn just as well.

:smile:
 

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Well, you guys must have different snow. We don't usually get that much snow here, but last winter, the Forester got stuck in 10" of the fresh stuff, on a ~2 Degree incline going uphill. And again when I was parked at the side of the road and the City plow pushed about 12" of snow and ice against the tires, on a flat road.
 

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^ Damn, that's rough! :frown:

I reversed it through "no man's land" (the area between the municipal plow, on the main road, and the privately-plowed driveways - typically built-up after the municipal plow drives through, after the private-plow already did their work), well over a foot deep, in my slightly lowered '05 LGT.

Another private-plow, working the driveway next to my in-law's place, drop-jaw'ed at that little stunt. :smile:

The light and fluffy stuff is really nice to play in. Granted, I do have winter tires, but they're only "Performance Winters."
 
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